I've always loved the Moscow Mule. The name, not so much. Having a mule associated with a tasty cocktail seems odd, and a mule from Moscow no less. Luckily the story behind the drink is a little more enjoyable than talking about barnyard animals.
Back in the 40s, both vodka and ginger beer were suffering from slow sales. Russian vodka (think Moscow) was not having much luck in the U.S. market, nor was the little known ginger beer. Misery loves company, so the two came together during a meeting at local LA Sunset Strip bar, Cock 'n Bull. They decided to pool their products into a new drink to bring both brands renewed success. Here I am, 75 years later, talking about the Moscow Mule, so I'd say mission accomplished.
The iconic copper mugs got in the mix in a similar fashion with a salesman having a surplus on his hands. Hence the Moscow Mule in a copper mug was born. Lime is the only other ingredient in the cocktail, and I can't say for sure limes were having sales issues, but it does add a nice pop of flavor.
Seeing as times do change, I thought the Moscow Mule could use a little refresh and mint is one of my favorite freshening ingredients. And since I'm in L.A., home to a lot of Mexican, spicy fare, a muddled jalapeno in this cocktail seemed like a natural. Still fresh, slightly sweet and now with a little fire. The Moscow Mule is a great drink that appears to stand the test of time, and perseverance. I'll drink to that.
Spicy Jalapeno Mint Moscow Mule
Makes 2 drinks
- 4 ounces vodka
- 8 ounces ginger beer
- 1 jalapeno
- 8 springs fresh mint leaves
- 2 ounces fresh lime juice
- Cut the jalapeno in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and stem and discard. Cut the jalapeno across in 2 sections and place in a cocktail shaker, along with the mint leaves. Muddle until the jalapeno juices are released and the mint is fragrant.
- Add ice to the shaker, along with the lime juice and vodka. Cover and shake vigorously for about 15-30 seconds.
- Place ice cubes in 2 copper mugs, or 2 tall glasses, and pour the vodka mixture over. Top each drink with 4 ounces of ginger beer. Garnish with lime slice and/or mint sprigs.